Meet new combatant in SUV war: MG Hector

The Chinese Baojun 530. The MG Hector in India is expected to have a similar look looking at the preview pictures from the company. Picture credit: Navigator84

Competition in the sports utility vehicle segment is getting fiercer. Proof of that is the announcement by Morris Garages Motor India on their first SUV in India – the Hector.

The British automaker is likely to launch the SUV by around June and will compete with the likes of the much-anticipated Tata Harrier, Jeep Compass Mahindra XUV500 and Hyundai Tucson. It is expected to be priced in the Rs 15 to 20 lakh range and will be a five-seater.

The company stated that the name of the new SUV is an inspiration from Trojan warrior – Prince Hector. The company also said that the Hector pays homage to the Hawker Hector biplane that was used by the Royal Air Force in the 1930s.

Production of the Hector is expected to begin in the second quarter of this year at MG India’s manufacturing plant in Halol (Gujarat). The company has also revealed that there will be over 75 per cent localisation of parts.

A pre-launch picture of the MG Hector, Picture credit: MG Motor India

The Hector has been built on the lines of the Chinese Baojun 530 SUV. The company Baojun is the conglomerate of Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, General Motors and Liuzhou Wuling Motors. MG Motor UK is a subsidiary of Chinese manufacturer SAIC.

In China, the Baojun 530 SUV is powered by a Fiat 2 litre Multijet diesel engine. The same engine is used in the Jeep Compass and will be in the Tata Harrier. It makes sense to assume that the Hector could borrow largely from the Baojun 530 including the engine. In the Harrier, the engine puts out 140 ps and is turbocharged, while the Compass engine is capable of putting out 173 ps of power. As very little has been revealed by MG Motor India, what the final specifications are remains to be seen.

In the teaser video that has been released, the Hector promises to have a sleek look and with a lot of technology packed into it. The turn indicator is a narrow one and looks pretty sharp. In general, the SUV looks pretty beefy.

A lot of interesting cars are due for launch in the coming months and this latest announcement is likely to increase the scale of the battle a little more.

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